Cuba–U.S. Relations

Obama and Beyond

By Arnold August  

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Against the background of the history of Cuba–U.S. interconnectedness and in light of Obama’s ini­tiative and Trump’s election, Arnold August deals with the relationship between the two countries, delving into past and current U.S. aggression against Cuba’s artistic field, ideology and politics. Based on twenty years of fieldwork in and investigation of Cuba, this book provides a unique perspective on the island’s diverse approaches to the cultural war being waged by the U.S. and illustrates the heterogeneous nature of Cuban society.

Featuring interviews with Cuban-based experts Jesús Arboleya Cervera, Esteban Morales Domínguez, Elier Ramírez Cañedo, Iroel Sánchez Espinosa and Luis Toledo Sande.

An expert on Cuba, Arnold August offers a revealing view of the conflict between Washington and Havana and the foreign policy of the United States vis-à-vis the island.

— Salim Lamrani, PhD Sorbonne Paris IV University,  lecturer at the University of La Réunion

Any open-minded discussion about the obviously asymmetrical relations between Cuba and the United States should start with this highly readable informative book. Based on deep research, including use of historical U.S. government documents and extensive field work inside Cuba, it should be acquired by libraries, students, and people about to travel to Cuba, journalists, government employees, and academics working in international affairs.

— James D. Cockcroft, three-time Fulbright scholar, Honorary Editor Latin American Perspectives

This book could not have been more timely. With Fidel Castro’s death focusing outside attention on Cuba’s future and with Trump’s election throwing U.S.–Cuban “normalization” into question, Arnold August contests the common assumptions and public rhetoric about Cuban politics and about that “normalization.”

— Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham

August provides the reader with a bridge across time and nations to understand the changes that have led to the “normalization” of Cuba–U.S. relations and serves as a guide to the Trump future.

— Helen Yaffe, London School of Economics

For those who want a fresh and reasoned perspective on Cuba and U.S. relations — and with it a perspective very different from that which we get from the mainstream Western media — this book is a must-read.

— Daniel Kovalik, teacher of international human rights, University of Pittsburgh, School of Law

August’s deft analysis, firmly grounded in a prolonged exposure to Cuban history and debates while mapping out the possible future developments, makes for an enlightening book.

— Claude Morin, professor (retired) of Latin American history, Université de Montréal

Arnold August’s new book on Cuba dispels the propaganda and myths perpetuated by both the U.S. corporate media and the Obama administration and provides valuable insights into what we might expect from a Trump government in the post-Fidel era.

— Garry Leech, independent journalist and teacher of international politics, Cape Breton University

Arnold August’s bristling collection of interventions vigorously debunks U.S.-centric misrepresentations of Cuban society and of Obama’s new ‘regime change’ strategy. It also engages critically with Cuban intellectuals and bloggers fighting in the ‘Cultural War,’ challenging the Revolution’s cohesion since the 2014 ‘normalization’ process began.

— Steve Ludlam, senior lecturer (retired), University of Sheffield, and editorial board member, International Journal of Cuban Studies

A timely and valuable source of clear analysis of Cuba–U.S. relations at the dawn of the Trump era, and an indispensable tome for activists and others interested in furthering normalized relations between Cuba and the U.S. and asserting Cuba’s right to self-determination and sovereignty over all its territory.

— Pepe Ross, adjunct professor, University of Albany, State University of New York

Here at last for English-speaking readers is a full overview of U.S. relations with Cuba from Cuban points of view. The book is essential background for understanding whatever President Trump has in store.

— Cliff DuRand, Morgan State University

  • Kindle
  • ISBN: 97815526669679
  • June 2017
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781552669662
  • June 2017
  • $24.99
  • For sale worldwide

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  • For solidarity activists, August’s work simply has to be considered mandatory reading. In this sense Obama and Beyond can be considered a primer for activists to not only understand Cuba, but also learn from that nation’s long struggle for revolution.

    — Green Left Review, January 2018 (full review)


  • Foreword — Too Interconnected to Be Unravelled by Keith Ellis
  • Preface — This Book Comes into Being
  • Introduction — Not One Iota, by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
  • Historical/Political Context: From the Thirteen Colonies to the Obama Era
  • Debate in Cuba Following Re-establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 2014-16
  • Interviews with Five of Cuba’s Leading Experts on Cuba–U.S. Relations
  • Challenges for Cuba in 2017 and Beyond
  • The Blockade: From Obama to Trump
  • Fidel and the U.S.-Led Cultural Blitzkrieg on “Dictatorship”
  • References
  • Index


  • Arnold August

    Arnold August has an M.A. in political science from McGill University, Montreal, where he resides. His books include Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion (Fernwood Publishing/Zed Books, 2013), Cuba-U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond (Fernwood, 2017). An accomplished journalist, he contributes articles in English and Spanish to websites in the United States, Canada, Cuba, Latin America and Europe. Since 1997, he has spent extended periods in Cuba pursuing his intensive investigations.

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